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Escape to the country

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By Fiona Reid
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Escape to the country

A NEW project will look at how urban migration is impacting rural communities, such as Dumfries and Galloway.

The shift to hybrid working practices following the coronavirus pandemic has led to some people swapping city living for country life.

Now an international project will explore the scale, and pros and cons, of these urban migration flows into rural, island and coastal communities across the globe.

The project, by Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and The James Hutton Institute, will look at how increased migration to rural and island areas offers opportunities for the future sustainability of these communities. It will also look at the challenges they faced in adapting to a period of rapid change.

The project, which has been awarded nearly £20,000 by the Royal Society of Edinburgh, will bring together researchers from across the world to share evidence and identify emerging policy and practice.

Lead researcher Jane Atterton, from SRUC, said: “There is increasing evidence from different countries that the covid pandemic has resulted in a new wave of urban migrants in search of rural, island or coastal living, motivated by access to open space and dispersed populations, and facilitated by a shift to hybrid working practices and improved digital connectivity.

“This project aims to build a strong, collaborative and sustainable international research network to understand these new migration patterns and their implications.”

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